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California

L.A. County seeks crackdown on cockfighting with vote to limit roosters

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Cockfighting in Compton in 2012.
(Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County is considering a proposal designed to crack down on cockfighting in unincorporated areas.

The Board of Supervisors voted in December to set limits on the number of roosters that residents can keep in unincorporated areas, and charged the Department of Animal Care and Control with setting the right number. A community forum — the third of eight — will be held in Altadena from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Charles S. Farnsworth Park, 568 E. Mt. Curve Ave.

Many cities already prohibit roosters or limit the number allowed per residence.

Neighbors typically complain about noise and odor when large numbers of birds are housed nearby. But paraphernalia for fights is often kept separate from the birds, making it hard for deputies to make arrests and shut down illegal operations.

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Supervisor Kathryn Barger has spoken out against cockfighting.

“Cockfighting is an inhumane crime in which animals are forced to fight to the death for amusement and gain,” she said in her December motion, coauthored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

“Other crimes such as gambling, illegal drugs, weapons, prostitution and child abuse occur during these fights.”

Barger pointed to the seizure of nearly 7,000 birds in a raid May 15 in the unincorporated community of Val Verde in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was the largest seizure of illegal cockfighting birds in U.S. history, according to the county Department of Animal Care and Control.

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All those birds had to be euthanized because of the aggressive nature of roosters bred for fighting and also because of concerns about the spread of disease. Thousands of chickens statewide had to be euthanized in 2003 when fighting chickens brought from Mexico into the U.S. were found to have Exotic Newcastle Disease.


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